Now is the Time

Implemental Slumber by tielji
Implemental Slumber, a photo by tielji on Flickr.
In my mind, I am a terribly wonderful friend to have. Sweet, giving, understanding, easy to get along with and lots of fun to hang out with.

And I am. Some of the time.

But I also seem to have another person living in me. Another person who can make a guest appearance at any given, random time. This person is nasty, peevish, cruel, judgmental, ruuuuude, and irrational to say the least.

I shouldn't say that this person shows up randomly - it really isn't as random as I would like. She can show up any random time I am drinking.

I have spent the last 15 years trying to decipher her code, trying to ward off her appearance and to somehow predict her pattern. She just does so much damage all the while using my name and my mouth.

Maybe she only comes when I don't eat enough before I drink. Or maybe I shouldn't drink cheap(er) alcohol. Maybe I was just out of my element this time, giving her a foot in the door. Perhaps I was really emotional this time drinking and that brought her around. Maybe I just don't metabolize alcohol the same since I quit smoking, and my body will come back in to balance with time. Maybe it was because I was hormonal. Or maybe I shouldn't mix my alcohols. Maybe I should only drink wine. Or beer. Or blahblahblah ad nauseum..

It is sad how much time and effort I have had to put in to repairing damage caused in my personal life (and maybe my professional life if I am honest about it). I have hurt people that I care about so very much, I have embarrassed the man that I love with my whole heart, and have made my family come to me with their concerns more than once.

Why would I continue down this road? I obviously have failed to figure out how to drink without having it turn out badly every so often. In fact, this game of Russian Roulette has more live rounds in the gun than it does blanks - more sorrowful Saturday mornings trying to piece together what chaos I have wreaked upon my loved ones than not.

The only way to guarantee victory over this particularly damaging part of my life is this:

I admit that I have a problem with alcohol. And I am committed to living my life alcohol-free from this day forth.

Not because I think it will make my life better, or fix any problem that I have right now - I just know that if I drink anymore it will make my life exponentially worse. And I am tired of hurting myself by destroying relationships and opportunities just because I haven't figured out the "right formula".

And I know that there will be many people in my world who will doubt that I can follow through on this intention - and that is okay. If I focus on what everyone else expects of me, I am sure to fail. And I may fail anyway - who knows?

But I have to say that the joy and freedom that comes to me through this decision (Yay! "She's" never coming back to hurt me or anyone else!) is liberating.

I feel free. And hopeful. And ambitious. And ...well, I feel good. Something I haven't felt in a long time.

Merry Christmas to you and me! <3
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